Virtual hoverboard flies back to the future

Media release | 3 September 2018

Sydney company Visospace has made the flying hoverboard a virtual reality with a new device that is set to put Australia on the map for virtual reality (VR) technology development with the support of the NSW Government.

Jobs for NSW had provided Visospace with a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product grant to develop its ‘Alto’ board platform for the burgeoning VR industry.

Visospace co-founder and CEO Puya Abolfathi said the Alto board, which allowed users to hover around in virtual space without the side effects of motion sickness, would provide a VR tool that could be adapted to support various industries.

“This is an amazing invention developed right here in NSW by a passionate group of engineers and designers and which has global potential,” Mr Abolfathi said.

“VR is here to disrupt every industry and change the way we play, work and connect with each other but user interface platforms need to evolve.

“VR is so embryonic right now and many industries are trying to work out how to use it to add value to what they do so we are creating the tools to help them.

“This platform could be used by gamers to make VR games, architects to make ways for people to move around virtual houses, or the health sector to create rehabilitation or diagnostic solutions.”

Mr Abolfathi said the Alto had been designed to work with all VR platforms and allowed smooth virtual movement in all directions, providing an unprecedented experience of hovering around virtual worlds.

“You step onto the board and shift your weight in the direction you want to go and the more pressure you apply the faster it goes,” Mr Abolfathi said.

“If you go over a bump or a rock on a road you feel it through your feet as the Alto features haptic feedback that provides realistic sensations to users.”

Mr Abolfathi said the company was releasing 100 Alto boards through crowdfunding to then manufacture a consumer version to be commercially launched in November.

He said the support from Jobs for NSW was vital to the Alto’s development.

“Jobs for NSW’s support resonated because we do everything here in NSW but with global outreach. We want to crack something that puts Australia on the map.”

Alto board platform in loungeroom